$20 Million deal sees three new CS:GO teams added to the ESL Pro League “Louvre Agreement”
October 21st, 2021 – Top esports teams BIG, Furia and Heroic have today been unveiled as the newest Partner Teams in ESL Pro League’s historic ‘Louvre Agreement’ – joining some of the biggest names in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (GS:GO).
The three successful teams each individually applied for a spot in the Louvre Agreement; their individual bids totalled almost $20M (USD), marking a significant boost to the longevity of the ESL Pro League and the sustainability of competitive CS:GO. As Partner Teams in the Louvre Agreement, they will be joining ESL and the existing 12 Partner Teams to participate in the ESL Pro League on an ongoing basis. Once each team starts, they will become equal stakeholders in the ESL Pro League and jointly shape the governance and share the revenues alongside ESL and the existing teams.
Alex Inglot, Commissioner of ESL Pro League, has confirmed BIG, Furia, and Heroic’s new status saying:
“When we started this process back in March, we were inundated with expressions of interest from over 40 ventures in CS:GO, esports more generally and even those currently not operating in the space. This marked an encouraging start and we have now come to the end of our journey; with the 13 existing Members overwhelmingly appreciating the rigour and objectivity of the process, as well as the calibre of the three teams that have been approved: BIG, Furia and Heroic. These teams and their investors have recognised the value of what we are building with the ESL Pro League project. The fact that they have put down such significant bids (with financial and non-financial components to each) shows they see real stable governance and growing value, that puts us on a par with other top-tier investment opportunities in esports or sports. We are in no doubt that each of these three teams will meaningfully contribute to our momentum, in the spirit of collaboration, global growth and strategic creativity.”
THE PROCESS AND RESULTS
Throughout the RFP process, bidders were asked to provide a range of organisational, legal and financial information. They were also asked for ‘financial bids’ and ‘non-financial commitments’. This enabled the existing Members, under the guidance of the Commissioner’s Office, to evaluate the broad range of influential factors that lead to a successful bid – such as performance legacy, geographical impact, strategic vision, investor group value and bid amount. All of this combined enabled the existing Members to weigh up the complete package that each bidder offered.
For example, Furia will focus their staff, resources and energy on representing South America and supporting the North American region; They plan to locate their roster in Florida, while collaborating with other Members across both continents. Heroic’s application was subject to Member discussions about the impact of the ESIC investigation, and the various events that were under review. Heroic’s high-quality application included a range of commitments from their new leadership team, including a focus on the high standards of new management and upholding the performance integrity of the league. On that basis, and coupled with the cooperation and active contribution of their staff within the investigation, their application was accepted. Due to the disruption caused by the events, and the timing of the subsequent ESIC inquiry, the Members and Heroic both agreed to delay the team’s official start date until the second half of 2022. This enables the new leadership to adequately address the outcome of the investigation and will give them ample time to implement their new strategies and standards.
Furia and BIG will join ESL and the 12 existing teams with immediate effect. They join Astralis, Complexity, ENCE, Evil Geniuses, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, G2 Esports, Mousesports, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid and Team Vitality.
Ralf Reichert, ESL Co-CEO added:
“Bringing three new teams into the ESL Pro League via this RFP Process is another milestone in our aim to create a sustainable, economical, competitive CS:GO ecosystem. Heroic, Furia and BIG each bring something different to the table, but also jointly strengthen the global appeal of the ESL Pro League and increase exposure of competitive CS:GO – both of which will help the tournament grow and develop over the years to come.”
Nicolas Maurer, CEO of Vitality who is an existing Partner Team of the ESL Pro League, stated:
“The revenue, scale, and long-term commitments of this deal are a great example of how the Pro League is transforming competitive gaming – and doing it in the right way. Having the new teams join with an average bid of almost $7M, enables us to know our worth, and share the value of our spot in the Pro League with sponsors, partners, and stakeholders.”
Quotes from the new Partner Teams:
Heroic CEO, Joachim Haraldsen, commented on the new partnership saying:
“Joining the Louvre Agreement is an incredible step forward for Heroic. We are really pleased about the members’ confidence in our organization’s value contribution, especially after such a turbulent year. We truly believe that the integrity, professionalism, and collaborative nature of the Louvre Agreement, combined with our internal changes and commitment to growth, marks the start of a new and prosperous era for Heroic. We’re very proud to be undergoing this metamorphosis alongside such outstanding teams and eager to take an active role in further amplifying EPL. I am beyond excited about where Heroic is heading and confident that we will bring substantial impact to this unique collaboration”
Founder and Co-CEO of FURIA, Jaime Pádua, said:
“Furia is incredibly excited to confirm that we will be joining the Louvre Agreement of the ESL Pro League as a Partner Team. We’re proud to represent South America in the Pro League and committed to become a core force in the North American CS:GO scene as well. We strongly believe in what the Louvre Agreement represents, and we are, therefore confident that our contribution to the Pro-League universe will be felt by all the fellow members. I’m also sure that our fan base and our partners will be delighted with the news. It is great stuff to us and to the South America Esports scene. I am grateful to all those who worked to make this deal possible.”
CEO of BIG, Daniel Finkler, added:
“The acceptance of BIG as an official ESL Pro League Partner Team is a great milestone in our corporate history. Joining the Louvre Agreement so early in its inception is a one-time opportunity from a business standpoint, we’re extremely confident in the Pro League as an investment. The high level of competition in the bidding process and the significant investment amounts, are a testament to the enormous relevance of the ESL Pro League and the entire ESL Pro Tour ecosystem. With the successful acquisition, we have now laid the foundation for further growth and consolidated our position as a top club at the forefront of esports worldwide. At this point, I would like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to our investors Marc Staperfeld (MSS Holding) and RBP Luxembourg S.A, who supported us significantly throughout the bidding process and keep believing in BIG’s vision. From a personal perspective, I hold a strong belief that the foundation of any successful endeavour always begins with the right people and the right plans. We believe the Louvre Agreement has both, and we’re excited to now be a part of it.”
About ESL: Founded in 2000, ESL has been developed into the world’s largest esports company leading the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline competitions. It operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments such as ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League and other top tier stadium-size events, as well as ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups and matchmaking systems, defining the path from zero to hero as short as possible. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports forward on a global scale. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group. https://pro.eslgaming.com/csgo/proleague/
About the Louvre Agreement: A groundbreaking new agreement between leading CS:GO teams, ESL and DreamHack will govern the setup of Pro League and share of revenues and profits from ESL’s Pro Tour competitions. The teams, representing the top level of professional CS:GO, will also become majority stakeholders in the league with a long-term slot for participation. By partnering with the leading CS:GO teams, the new agreement further establishes the ESL Pro Tour as one of the most valuable properties in the global business of esports. https://pro.eslgaming.com/csgo/proleague/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Louvre-Agreement.pdf
About Heroic: https://heroic.gg/about-us
About Furia: https://www.furia.gg/quem-somos
About BIG: https://bigclan.gg/about-us/